Kamal Hourani is a first year student in the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a participant of our Digital Disciples Program.
On the evening of Saturday, October 24th The Holy Cross Bookstore hosted and sponsored a forum on human trafficking facilitated by Dr. Timothy Patitsas, Professor of Ethics at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Participants were shown segments from the documentary “A Path Appears”, which explored the industry of human trafficking in the U.S. (particularly sex trafficking of women), its causes, the scars it leaves, and the fight against it.
One message that the movie drove home was that the disease of human trafficking is fed by broken and dysfunctional relationships. Many of those who are now captives in the trafficking industry were sexually and physically abused as children by oppressive relatives. These same relatives often coerce the victim into intercourse with other relatives. The victim either escapes from their home or is given over to a pimp.
Even those who run away, however, often enter prostitution rings anyway to provide money for themselves. In their line of work, trafficked individuals often become addicted to drugs either because their pimps use the drugs to make them comply or because the drugs are self-administered to numb the pain of the situation. Addiction forces the prostitute to keep working in order to make more money to feed the addiction.
The more money someone spends on drugs, the less they have for themselves. Poverty keeps them in the prostitution business. The business may lead to arrests. The criminal record makes employment almost impossible.
The human trafficking business ensnares its victims in a vicious cycle of abuse, suffering, and immobility. Through the work of ministries such as the MA Coalition to end Human Trafficking (led by Ms. Sarah Durfey), people hope to pull victims out of this cycle and help them to find healing.
If we work with God and each other to minister to these suffering individuals, he will bring the healing and peace we all need. If the cycle of the trafficking industry is fed by broken relationships and abuse, then it can only be broken with healthy bonds and love from the God who is perfect love.
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. Orthodox Seminary News supports the work done in Orthodox Christian seminaries, as they are the heart and future of the Orthodox priesthood and lay leadership. Widespread understanding of the mission and activities of our seminaries and their sacred work is an essential part of a healthy church.
$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners. Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.
Your gift during our annual End of the Year Appeal will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media.
Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.
Digital Disciple Scholars Program. The Orthodox Christian Network has established the Digital Disciple Scholars Program on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. The purpose is to begin training our ministry leaders to use multi-media resources to spread the Gospel. Students will be trained to promote current issues related to the Orthodox Faith, Christian Persecution, cover Orthodox News and events on campus.